Most plastic chairs fail test standards

Most plastic chairs fail test standards

A recent study on the quality of plastic chairs has raised concerns about the safety and durability of these commonly used furniture items. 


The results obtained from the study conducted by the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana paint a troubling picture of the current state of plastic chairs on the market.

According to the data, a significant percentage of plastic chair sets failed to meet the required test standards. Specifically, out of 11 tests, 35 per cent passed 10 test standards, 15 per cent passed nine standards, 40 per cent passed eight standards, and 10 per cent passed seven standards.

None of the 20 samples of plastic chairs that were bought on the market and tested met all the required standards for the manufacture of furniture. The data was made known to the public at a stakeholder engagement on the testing and certification of furniture products in the country last Thursday. 


The Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the results indicated a high level of non-conformity and raised questions about the quality control measures in place for those products.

He said the average non-conformity rate ranging from five per cent to 80 per cent was particularly alarming, suggesting that a wide range of plastic chairs on the market might not meet basic safety and quality standards.

The study, he said, emphasised the need for regulations to ensure that those chairs were safe for use and did not pose a risk to consumers' lives. Dr Dodoo was particularly concerned about the non-conformity rates for specific tests, including how safe it was to lean backwards in the chairs (the rearward stability test) yielded 80 per cent pass, the armrest static load test (65 per cent), and armrest durability test (50 per cent).

“These high failure rates indicate that the quality of these chairs is not suitable for use and may lead to potential safety hazards for users,” he said. As a result, Prof. Dodoo said all furniture produced or imported would be tested and certified to ensure that they met the requirements and were fit for purpose.

“We have to do this so that we can all sit pretty,” Prof. Dodoo told the gathering. The GSA Director-General called for urgent improvements in the design and manufacturing processes of plastic chairs to enhance their quality and safety standards.

He said it was essential for manufacturers to prioritise quality control measures and adhere to strict regulations to ensure that consumers were not exposed to risks associated with substandard products.


The Director of CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-FORIG), Prof. Daniel Ofori, noted that the study underscored the importance of maintaining high-quality standards in the production of plastic chairs and highlighted the need for increased oversight and regulation to protect consumers from potentially hazardous furniture items.

Currently, he said, a Wood and Furniture Testing Centre (WFTC) had been established at the CSIR-FORIG with support from the state Secretariat for Economic Cooperation (SECO), Switzerland.

The centre, Prof. Ofori said, was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for testing wood-based panels, as well as furniture to support the wood industry through testing services, research into efficient utilisation of wood species, product development and their standardisation.

He said the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) had also provided technical support and training for the staff of the centre to be abreast of international best practices and ISO/IEC 17025 requirements and testing procedures.

“The centre, which is an ISO/IEC 17025 compliant laboratory, is currently accredited to conduct tests under ISO/IEC 17025,” Prof Ofori added.

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